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Animal Control FAQ

  1. Does my dog need a license from the Town?

  2. Does my cat need a license?

  3. What is the fine if my animal is picked up and does not have a license?

  4. When do I have to renew my dog's license?

  5. Does the animal shelter put animals to sleep? How long do they wait?

  6. How soon after an animal is picked up, will it be made available for adoption?

  7. What is required if I want to adopt an animal?

  8. There is a skunk under my porch, will someone come and take it away?

  9. How do you trap wild animals like skunks and raccoons?

  10. Where is the Animal shelter located?

  11. What are the details of the spay/neuter program?

  12. If my dog is vaccinated, why does it need to be quarantined if it bites someone?

  13. My dog has an identification "chip". Do you have the equipment to read the chip?

  14. Are animal wardens available on weekend?

1. Does my dog need a license from the Town?

Yes. When the dog reaches six months of age, a license is required. To obtain the license you must show proof that the animal has had its' rabies shot. The fee is $7. The license must be renewed yearly and runs from April to April.

2. Does my cat need a license?

No. Cats do not need to be licensed.

3. What is the fine if my animal is picked up and does not have a license?

The first offense is $25; second offense $200; third offense $500.

4. When do I have to renew my dog's license?

Every year in April.

5. Does the animal shelter put animals to sleep? How long do they wait?

No. The town ordinance does allow the animal warden to put animals to sleep after 10 days in the shelter. However, in practice, the shelter finds homes for all healthy animals.

6. How soon after an animal is picked up, will it be made available for adoption?

Every effort is made to find the owner of an animal. This includes checking with nearby towns if the animal was located near the border. If the owner cannot be located after five days, the animal will be available for adoption.

7. What is required if I want to adopt an animal?

You must have permission from your landlord if you do not own your home. You will need to answer a few questions and pay a $25 fee. When the animal is spayed or neutered, $20 will be refunded.

8. There is a skunk under my porch, will someone come and take it away?

Skunks are native to this area. Unless it is sick we do not remove it. You can put some rags with ammonia or block the area around the deck - that should discourage the animal. Also, make sure that your trash cans are covered tightly so that skunks and raccoons cannot get into them seeking food. If the animal is sick, we will come and put it to sleep. If you see any animal acting strangely, be sure to keep your children and pets away.

9. How do you trap wild animals like skunks and raccoons?

It is against the law to trap wild animals and release them elsewhere. If the animal is sick, we will call the police to put it to sleep. If the animal is in a dwelling we will attempt to remove it and release safely if possible.

10. Where is the Animal shelter located?

We are located on 395 Hamilton Allenton Road, between Boston Neck Road and Tower Hill Road. The hours are 7am to 3pm, seven days a week - except holidays. On holidays, the facility is closed to the public but we still feed and attend to the animals.

See a map of our location.

11. What are the details of the spay/neuter program?

(Answer being updated)

12. If my dog is vaccinated, why does it need to be quarantined if it bites someone?

The Rhode Island State Board of Health requires that all animals that bite humans, or animals that receive bites of unknown origin, must be tested or quarantined to determine if the animal was rabid at the time of the bite. Even though an animal has been vaccinated, there is still a possibility that rabies may be contracted. The vaccine does reduce the risk to almost zero. However, because rabies is ultimately fatal to humans, it is imperative that we determine as soon as possible if the animal is infected. The quarantine is not a punishment, but rather a public health issue. Once humans contract rabies, there is no known cure.

10. My dog has an identification "chip". Do you have the equipment to read the chip?

Yes. We have the chip reader and will use it to return your animal to you.

11. Are animal wardens available on weekends?

Yes.